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Title: Latex sensitisation in healthcare workers in Singapore
Authors: Tang, M.B.Y.
Leow, Y.H.
Ng, V.
Koh, D. 
Goh, C.L.
Keywords: Contact urticaria
Glove allergy
Latex allergy
Issue Date: Jun-2005
Citation: Tang, M.B.Y.,Leow, Y.H.,Ng, V.,Koh, D.,Goh, C.L. (2005-06). Latex sensitisation in healthcare workers in Singapore. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore 34 (5) : 376-382. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Introduction: Epidemiological data on latex sensitisation among Asian healthcare workers is lacking. The aim of the study is to determine the rate of latex sensitisation in our healthcare workers. Materials and Methods: We recruited 313 healthcare workers, of which 46.6% were operating theatre staff and 53.4% were non-operating theatre staff. Seventy-one administrative staff served as controls. All participants answered a self-administered questionnaire relating to latex exposure and glove-related symptoms. Latex sensitisation was determined by skin prick testing to latex and latex-specific IgE detection. Results: The prevalence of latex sensitisation among healthcare workers was 9.6%, with no difference between operating theatre and non-operating theatre staff. Glove-related symptoms were reported in 13.7% of all healthcare workers, of which 22.9% were sensitised to latex. Only 26.7% of latex-sensitised healthcare workers had glove-related symptoms while the rest were asymptomatic. The most common symptoms were itch and hand eczema but the most important discriminating symptom was contact urticaria. Personal history of atopy was more common in sensitised healthcare workers (40.0%) compared to non-sensitised workers (31.8%). Only 1 out of 9 (11.2%) symptomatic latex-sensitised subjects had sought previous medical attention for the problem. Conclusions: Latex sensitisation among healthcare workers in Singapore should be considered a significant occupational health risk, as it is in the West. Increased screening and awareness of this problem is essential to identify those at risk.
Source Title: Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
ISSN: 03044602
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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